5 Simple Cocktails

This post has nothing to do with writing (unless you buy into the “write drunk, edit sober” philosophy, I suppose). But one of my other primary hobbies is making cocktails, and I’ve developed a few quick-and-simple regular favorites I’ll share with you today.

Note on simple syrup: I do keep a batch of 2:1 simple syrup on hand. All I do is mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part water in a microwave-safe Pyrex measuring cup, then microwave and stir in 30-second bursts until it’s all blended. I sterilize a bottle by pouring boiling water over it, then pour in the simple syrup and and keep it in the fridge. I change it out every few months if I don’t use it all up.

1. Boozy Mocha

  • 8oz milk
  • 2oz Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (I like the Special Dark version)
  • 2oz Grind Espresso Rum
  • Optional: Cinnamon Stick

Stir all liquid ingredients together, microwave until hot. (1 min 30 seconds in my microwave). If it strikes your fancy, add a cinnamon stick after heating. Easy-peasy.

2. Spiked Mint Lemonade

This one is a bit more work and has a few more ingredients than other cocktails on this list, but trust me, it’s worth it. It’s a favorite with friends and I’m always asked to make it during the annual “Drunken NaNoWriMo” event I do with a few friends.

  • 6-8 mint leaves
  • 1-2 basil leaves (optional)
  • 2oz simple syrup
  • 2oz lemon juice (if fresh-squeezed; if using bottled lemon juice, use 1oz juice and 1oz water)
  • 2oz honey vodka (Smirnoff has a good one)
  • dash (about 4 drops) angostura bitters

Muddle the mint and (optional) basil leaves with the simple syrup. Add rest of ingredients, shake well with ice. Pour through strainer into ice-filled glass.

3. Cucumber Lime Fizz

  • 2oz cucumber vodka (can substitute plain vodka)
  • 1oz key lime juice
  • 2oz simple syrup
  • Dash (2-3 drops) orange or angostura bitters
  • Splash ginger ale

Combine vodka, lime, syrup, and bitters in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well. Pour over ice in highball glass and top with ginger ale to fill glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

4: Hot Brandy Cider

  • 8oz apple cider 
    (Get the good stuff – the cloudy, only-made-of-squished-apples stuff without extra flavors or carbonation. I highly recommend Louisburg, but it’s local to my region in the US so you may not be able to get it elsewhere)
  • 1oz Hershey’s Caramel Syrup
  • 1oz bourbon
  • 1oz brandy
  • Optional: Cinnamon Stick

Heat the apple cider to desired temperature (I just microwaved it directly in the mug). Add the syrup, bourbon, and brandy, stir until well mixed. Garnish with a cinnamon stick (optional) and enjoy!

5. Piña Colada Creamsicle

  • 2oz Orange Juice
  • 1oz Pineapple Rum/Vodka
  • 1oz Coconut Rum/Vodka
  • 2oz Non-Dairy Creamer (I use unsweetened. Don’t use dairy milk, it can curdle – eew.)
  • 1 cup of ice

Combine all ingredients in blender with ice. Pulse to blend into a frozen slushie drink. (I have one of those small 1-serving smoothie blenders, but you could easily scale this up and make a larger batch for a group).

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